The final resting place of Nancy Kerlin Barnett in the middle of Indiana’s County Road 400 got a makeover during recent construction to widen the road.
The grave of Nancy Kerlin Barnett after renovations, October 2016
The Grave in the Middle of the Road along Indiana’s rural County Road 400 recently got a makeover. The road has been divided around the grave since the road was constructed in 1905. Why? Because Barnett’s great-great-grandson sat on the hill with his gun and refused to let workers move her remains. The rest of the cemetery was relocated, but officials decided to let Barnett remain in the small hill overlooking her favorite place.
The grave, which lies directly in the middle of two lanes of traffic, has caused numerous accidents throughout the years. Warning signs and concrete bollards were added, but apparently that didn’t cut it. Earlier this year archeologists from the University of Indiana were called in to excavate the 1831 burial of Nancy Kerlin Barnett so the road could be widened. Unexpectedly, the remains of at least seven other individuals were also discovered in the hill.
The construction was completed sometime around the end of summer 2016 and the remains have been returned. But, sadly it seems the hill and historical marker are no more. Barnett’s story has been reduced to nothing more than a small plaque embedded in concrete.
Here’s what the historical marker said:
NANCY KERLIN BARNETT
Born May 14, 1793-Died Dec. 1, 1831
Married to William Barnett, Feb. 29, 1808.
He was born Sept. 27, 1786.
drowned in Ohio River Sept. 24, 1854.
William was the great, great, great grandson of Pocahontas and John Rolfe.
Daniel G. Doty, 1846-1934, protected his grandmother’s grave by staying here with his gun, while the county relocated this cemetery in order to build the road. A concrete slab was placed over the grave to protect the marker, Aug. 8, 1912.
Photos courtesy of my secret Indiana operative, my sister, whose trips I hijack for Cult of Weird photos. Thanks Elizabeth!